Eve Ensler & Associated Acts

Eve Ensler

Others have written and critiqued Eve Ensler, the Vagina Monologues, V-day and 1 Billion Rising much better and more eloquently than I have so I'm going to link a few:

So with all those consistent, repeated, wilful failures at intersectional feminism hanging over everything she has touched we get on to the local story.

The "Clitlective"

The Clitlective is a theatre group in Wellington, initially formed around a production of the Vagina Monologues last year.

Starting from the very top, the name is a "cutesy" pun that centres cisnormative biology. It comes across as needlessly cissexist for a group that claims it is "promoting equality for all genders". I've been told that some members of the group were made aware of this criticism but brushed it off. It's unacceptable behaviour but all too typical of the kind of white cis feminism that dominates feminist discourse and perpetuates Ensler's appropriation.

I'm not going to go into the way in which a production of the Vagina Monologues is a bad idea in this day and age as it's covered in the above links.

There's the origami vulvas as "activism", just in case you've forgotten just what anatomy they're essentialising.

The inepitude continues this year with another Ensler play. To centre this white cis perspective on gendered violence is a gross misappropriation of the voices of the most marginalised women in society who face orders of magnitude more violence than Ensler's ilk. The only ray of light is the contributions to the Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group in Wellington.

To be clear, this is not about stopping women with vaginas from talking about them, there's obviously a lot of misinformation and shame directed towards their owners by the patriarchy that makes reclamation important. This is about making room in that now dominant discourse for the voices of less privileged women pushed aside and excluded by things like The Vagina Monologues and the rampant racism and cissexism in much of mainstream feminism.